Heading to Shaanxi Province, China, to see the famed terracotta warriors? Here’s a great place to stay: the Sheraton Xi’an Hotel, 262 Feng Hao East Road, Xi’an, Shaanxi, China.
Full-size replicas of the warriors are “stationed” throughout the public areas of the hotel, to remind you of Xi’an’s past as an imperial capital. The original warriors are part of an elaborate funeral complex outside of town assembled by Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. about 209 BCE. The sole purpose of the thousands of armed men, horses, chariots, and other accoutrements of war was to protect the emperor in his afterlife. The necropolis — it also includes the emperor’s tomb — covers about 38 square miles and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Sheraton Xi’an Hotel stands ready to make a contemporary tourist’s stay as comfortable as can be. There are 309 guest rooms plus 59 suites decorated in warm woods and rich earth tones. Expansive windows provide panoramic views of this city of 12 million inhabitants.
There’s both wired internet access and WiFi in the guest rooms, with WiFi also available in the lobby and public areas. Each room has a large flat screen LCD TV, in-room safe, the Sheraton Signature Sleep Experience goose-down duvet, free bottled water, and an amenity pack I’ve not seen elsewhere in China (or in the world, for that matter). Labeled an “emergency” kit and priced at about $8, it includes a nail clipper, two bandages, a sanitary napkin, and two condoms. Nope: I did not break the seal to investigate further.
The hotel fitness center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The “Shine” Spa is open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., but be sure to make an appointment ahead of time. Towels are provided on site for both the whirlpool and the heated indoor swimming pool, and both are open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Should you want to set up a meeting, there are 12 differently sized rooms adding up to 17,921 square feet of gathering space.
All public areas are non-smoking, including three spots to grab a bite or a brew. The Gate West Restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Tang Yuan Restaurant features Cantonese and local cuisine for lunch and dinner. The Marco Polo lounge (which includes dancing to a live Filipino band nightly) features wines from around the world, cocktails and “freshly roasted, ground, and brewed coffee”.
You can make a reservation on the hotel’s website (it’s part of Marriott International), or on one of the usual hotel booking sites such as Travelocity or Priceline. Rooms that include breakfast start about $80.
(Photos courtesy of the hotel and by Susan McKee)